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Maternal and neonatal health

A brief guide to maternal and neonatal health challenges, and their impact globally and in Bangladesh.


  • Every two minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies from a pregnancy-related complication.
  • The vast majority ofmaternal deaths occur in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.
  • 303,000 womendied of maternity-related causes in 2015.
  • Some 70% of maternal deaths are caused by five preventable conditions: 
  • post-partum haemorrhage (blood loss after birth)
  • eclampsia(seizures or convulsions) or pre-eclampsia (increased blood pressure)
  • puerperal sepsis (infections following childbirth)
  • complications from unsafe abortion
  • obstructedlabour. 
  • Young adolescentsface a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy than other women.
  • Between 1990 and 2015, maternal mortality worldwide dropped by about 44%
  • Each year, 2.8 million neonates die globally, mostly from preterm birth, birth asphyxia or severe infections.
  • Each year, 2.6 million babies are stillborn.


In Bangladesh…

  • In 2015, there were 5,500 maternal deaths, down from 21,000 in 1990.
  • The maternal mortality ratio, deaths per 100,000 live births, has fallen from 569 in 1990 to 176 in 2015.
  • Some 129,433 children under five years of age died in 2013.
  • There were 76,722 neonatal deaths in 2013.
  • 59% of deaths of children under five years of age occur in the first month of life.